Misbah Khan’s four-wicket haul propelled Ibsons to their maiden UBL Floodlight T20 trophy as they clinched an impressive 18-run win over former champions UBL in Abu Dhabi.
Electing to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Ibsons recovered from 114-4 to post 147- 7 in their allotted 20 overs, with Rameez Raja and Faizan Asif top-scoring with 38 runs each.
In reply, UBL, who were aiming to win their second title after their 2011 triumph, were left reeling at 45 for 3.
And although Rameez Shahzad’s knock of 45 did offer them a glimmer hope, the climbing run-rate and a flourish of late wickets proved to be too much as they finished on 129 for 8, with bowler Misbah claiming 4 for 20.
The victory was especially emotional for Ibsons captain Baber Malik, who said: “It was a remarkable effort by the boys. I was confident even though we fell a few runs short. All credit to the team because we played according to our plan and we were also lucky.”
UBL captain Qazi Ayub added: “We were strong in our bowling and fielding departments. But the batting was a big disappointment as we lost two early wickets. We were still trying to get singles and twos but with each over the required run-rate climbed. The nerves kicked in and we played some bad shots; but then that is all part of the game.”
Earlier, Raja and Asif of Ibsons put on a 56-run partnership for the first wicket. However, they soon found themselves in trouble losing two quick wickets at 95 for 3 as Zaman (23) was bowled by Mohammad Ayaz, and Shehzad Malik (1) trapped LBW by Ayub.
Raja continued to score runs but his 38-ball inning came to an end after he was trapped lbw by Mohammad Aqeel.
Ibsons were 142 for 6 when Baber Malik (11) became Raza’s third victim, who had earlier also dismissed Waeem Baig (6).
In reply, UBL got off to the worst start possible with Kamran Shahzad removing Aqeel for 6, and Syed Maqsood (4) falling to Khan with only 17 on the scoreboard. W
ith Saqlain Haider out for four, Amjad Ali (15) offered some resistance. But when he was removed by Fayaz Ahmed, only Shahzad and Mohammad Shakir (30) reached double figures.
Requiring 30 off the final 10 balls, UBL were unable to pull off what could have been a remarkable win, with Khan taking two more wickets to wrap up the victory for Ibsons.
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